what’s the difference between a systems analyst and a business analyst?

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Can you inform me what’s the difference between a systems analyst and a business analyst? Thank You.


If you are visiting a foreign country, where you do not know the language, would you prefer to visit with an interpreter (after gaining an overall knowledge of what the country is like and learning a few key foreign phrases), or would you prefer to take the time to immerse yourself in the culture and language of the country before setting foot on its soil?

Neither option is necessarily a right or wrong choice. Depending upon your needs, either choice will accomplish what you set out to do.

One will move about the land taking in all the country has to offer, while relying on an interpreter if any detailed communications need to take place.

The other will be able to carefully craft a conversation to meet any need but may choose a tour guide to show them the overall lay of the land. Your decision will be based upon how much detail you need to know about the country and its language to accomplish what you want to get done on your trip.
The difference is technical

The same is true in describing the difference between a business analyst and a systems analyst. The difference between a systems analyst and a business analyst is technical – quite literally.

Like the two travelers, the business analyst has an overall picture of the business environment. He certainly knows enough about the business side and about the technology side to get the job done – Or, at least to oversee that it does.

However, the systems analyst is far more adept in understanding the detailed language behind the software coding as well as having a complete depth of knowledge as to how exactly the IT department functions, as a key member.

Some companies consider the systems analyst and the business analyst to be one in the same. However, other companies are very adamant about the two job titles remaining separate.

Combine the two roles (Sometimes called a Business Systems Analyst)

In companies where the roles are combined into one business systems analyst title, the Business Systems Analyst needs to be bi-linqual. The person does the job of bridging a gap to solve a problem – while, at the same time, has the ability to speak fluently with the IT team with an inside understanding of exactly how this team is wired. He or she also is able to look at the coding in the actual software and decipher precisely what needs to be re-coded.

Some companies insist upon making a distinction between two separate roles of business analyst and systems analyst. In this case, the business analyst would look at all of the factors of the organization to determine the best software solution and then turn to a systems analyst who would be in charge of overseeing the details of coding the software solution. In this case, the two work closely throughout the problem-solving process.

The duties of both a business analyst and a systems analyst are vital in solving problems and meeting organizational needs. Sometimes, they are two distinct jobs. Other times, it is merely a factor of title.

Business Analyst
The business analyst alone would discover what needs to change and communicate with multiple department heads to come up with a feasible solution. He then, relies on a team of software experts (possibly even a systems analyst) to oversee and write the coding for the software solution.

This business analyst has a good grasp on an overall picture of how the entire company functions, but will not necessarily know detailed computer coding.

Some of the overall duties and skills required of a pure business analyst are:

-Understand business and able to communicate generally with all departments
-Communication Skills
-Negotiation Skills
-Knowledge of Domain
-Understand business processes and procedures
-Identify problems
-Work with stakeholders to come up with solutions
-Gather Requirements
-Analyze Requirements
-Map and Document

Systems Analyst
The systems analyst alone would focus more on detailed technical aspects, rather than the whole picture. This would include duties and skills such as:
-Understand technical language and able to communicate through writing computer languages
-Strong technical skills
-Excellent troubleshooting/debugging skills
-Understand requirements (often described by a Business Analyst)
-Design software solution
-System modeling and Documenting outcome using class or sequence diagrams
-Code reviews
-Data analysis
-Modeling Skills

The reality is that the business analyst and systems analyst roles often overlap or are merely a title. The precise difference in their day-to-day functions is determined by each organization’s specific definition.

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